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 Post subject: Topside access
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 47
Apparently you now need a wildcard to climb at topside (silvermine east). A friend of mine when there on the weekend and was asked for his wildcard by the parking dude. Is this true? Does anyone know what the deal is officially? Why do you need a wildcard to boulder but not to hike?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:49 pm
Posts: 293
Yeah I was also stopped. Luckily I own one of them things so no hassle, but I was handed a pamphlet proclaiming that a Wild card was necessary for everything from walking to hanggliding and detailing a three tiered system of user classification (See 'classroom boulder access' thread on this site). I have alerted our watchdog Brent Jennings to this and he is going to take the matter up with Parks officials.


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 Post subject: TMNP access
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:50 am
Posts: 97
Location: Cape Town
There has been some confusion surrounding access for climbing within the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP). Many people have been unclear about the permit requirements (including myself). I have just spoken with Park management, and this then is the bottom line:

If you want to sport climb in the Park, you need a 'permit' to do so. This is in the form of a Wild Card. There are several levels you can buy. What I would recommend is a Wild Card with a 'level 2', which pertains to sport climbing. This will allow you access at any of the entry points in the park, and allow you to sport climb at any of the crags for a year. This can be obtained at any main entry gate in the Park. Note that this is not merely a permit to gain entry, but is required for you to sport climb, no matter how you got to the crag.

At this stage, a permit is not required for bouldering. However, it is likely that this will change, as bouldering has a fairly high environmental impact.

Note that no permit is required to trad climb anywhere in the TMNP, a situation with which we are very happy, and one that is not likely to change.

If you have any further queries, please feel free to contact me.
cheers
Brent

ps:
A little note to boulderers: please please please be very careful when moving around your boulder problems. Try and limit the amount of damage to the vegetation, especially when you short-cut between boulders, and when you put your crash-mats down. There has been a lot of talk lately about the impact of bouldering as an activity. Clean up all fag ends, finger tape etc.
Good dog.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:49 pm
Posts: 293
Its completely unjust that climbers should be targeted as a 'special use group' when so little, if anything at all, is done by the TMNP and CN to cater for their needs. Hikers on the other hand need pay nothing (in the TMNP) yet form far and away the biggest user group. Miles and miles of trails have been built to cater for their needs and yet no charge has been levied to account for this. At the same time most of the paths to climbing areas have been built by climbers themselves (admittedly with Parks supplying materials in some cases). Why then are we expected to pay a fee and not hikers??

Furthermore it is ridiculous that Sport climbers and boulderers are being singled out to pay fees and not trad climbers, where is the equality in this? Perhaps if the TMNP and CN management actually instituted some plans to stabilise the areas around boulders and construct proper paths to the areas there would be some point to contributing to this 'special use' fee. At present it simply seems that we are the suckers who have to sudsidise the building of trails for hikers whilst we get diddly squat in return.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:29 am
Posts: 179
Let me get this straight,
Bouldering at Topside does not require a permit.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:06 pm
Posts: 47
Scott, I have been in contact with Brent offline, and he says that at the moment a permit is not required for bouldering in the TMNP, and Topside is in the TMNP. So: no permit required to boulder at Topside.

Grigri, as a result of my contact with Brent, I will attend the next climbing subcomm meeting to make exactly the point you raise about climbing disciplines being handled differently. I will summarise whatever debate/info arises in this space.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:29 am
Posts: 179
Sweet, so who's volunteering to explain to the person at the gate?


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 Post subject: More ranting
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:50 am
Posts: 97
Location: Cape Town
I have taken note of your comments (and that of others) in this forum and in personal comms.

I must just re-iterate that we do not make the rules. We negotiate with those who do. We are not happy with Parks and the permit structure. We did not want this, and do not agree with the system completely either. We are still trying to get the fairest deal possible with the Park, for all climbers.

Parks decided which groups had the most environmental impact, and made policy they felt relevant. Right now, our biggest complaint is that the money that is paid by climbers does not benefit climbers directly. We are working hard to redress this. Screaming and ranting at them won't work. Sitting down and talking to them will. So that is what we're doing. I know some people think the current system is sub-optiman, we agree. Berating us for supporting it is both incorrect and somewhat unfair.

We can argue until we're old and grey about which activity, sport/trad/boulder has the most impact. That is not really the point. We need to fight to keep trad and bouldering off the permit requirement list. So far we've achieved this. For sport climbing, we need to ensure that whatever money we pay is used for the benefit of sport climbing.

Oh, and lastly, just to set the record straight... if you are an MCSA member, you need only pay the R45 for the base card. The other one-hundred and something rand for a permit to climb for the whole year is not necessary.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 12:48 pm
Posts: 265
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Guy Holwill
Hey Brent

Is it possible for you get an office letter from TMNP stating which permits are required by who for what activity. You can put it on the web and we can all print it out an take it with us. Then when a ranger stops us bouldering or tradding, we can produce the letter - which should ease tension all round?

_________________
There's no point being pessimistic, because it probably won't work


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 7:56 pm
Posts: 169
If you park at usual Silvermine carpark(s) you pay an entry fee whether you climb, boulder, hike, walk the dog or cycle. The Wildcard gets you in for \"free\". The permits for sport climbing, biking etc. are loaded additionally to your card. So, yes, we don't need a permit to boulder, but if you use a pay entry point you pay an entry fee. If you enter the Park at non-pay entry points obviously you pay absolutely nothing and don't need a Wild Card. All of this is reasonably clearly spelt out on the pamphlet you get at the Westlake office when you purchase a Wild Card.


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